It is often said that it is human nature to only appreciate something when it is not longer available. So when one has something in their life, it is easy for them to take it for granted. Not only can this apply to ‘things’, it can also apply to the people who are in one’s life.
In the beginning when one first receives something or when they first come into contact with someone, they are going to feel different to how they will feel as time passes. This is because one is experiencing something new and so this means that one’s mind is going to be engaged.
However, as time passes what was in the foreground can soon settle into the background and one’s mind is likely to be consumed with something else. This could mean that one takes something or someone for granted and doesn’t take the time to think about how grateful they are or to show their appreciation for what they have.
It could also mean that one still reflects on how grateful they are and shows their appreciation, but that this doesn’t take place very often. These are then two examples of what can takes place as time goes by.
So there is what can happen once one has received someone or formed a relationship with someone, and there is also what one had to do to make these things a reality. What this comes down is how much work one had to put in and how long they had to wait.
It is said that people appreciate things more when they have to work for it and that when it’s free; the same level of appreciation is not there. If one was given a new car for instance, it is not going to have the same meaning as it would if they had to work for it.
On A Plate
Let’s say that one is in an intimate relationship and that the other person made most of the effort to bring them both together. The person who made the effort might appreciate the other person more than the other person appreciates them.
There is the chance that the other person will come to appreciate the person who put in the work, but there is also the chance they won’t. Another factor would be if one person was used to always getting what they wanted and the other person wasn’t, this would add another element.
For the person who is not used to having something, when they do get what they desire it is likely to have a bigger impact on them. Whereas, if one is used to having what they want or rarely going without it, when they do attain what they desire it would be normal and this means the impact it has could be minimal.
Each person has needs and yet they will respond differently once a certain need is fulfilled; this is due to the kind of life they live or because of what they already have. One way of looking at it would be to say that one person has had to delay gratification and the other hasn’t.
To delay gratification can create pain, whereas if one was to have what they wanted straight away they wouldn’t have to experience pain. At an emotional level one may feel drawn to have what they want when they won’t it, but at an intellectual level they might realise that this is not always possible.
The reason one is used to having what they want and the other isn’t, could be due to a number of reasons. Perhaps one person has come from a more supportive background than the other, and this allowed them to have their needs met from the moment they were born.
Even if they haven’t had their needs met straight away, they might not have to wait too long until they are. There are then going to be other people who are used to going without.
This could mean they are used to not having food or a place to sleep, and it could also include not having people around them who are supportive or experiencing mental and emotional challenges. There are many ways that one can suffer and while suffering can define someone, it can also re-define them
Now, if one is able to get the support they need and move beyond their pain, it will allow them to experience life differently. Through this, one might start to experience things they have never experienced before and people could respond to them in ways that they have never experienced before. How they feel about themselves and how they experience life could also change.
As one has had to go without for so long and therefore knows what it feels like to suffer, when they do receive something or their suffering comes to an end, it is going to have a big impact on them. One is not simply going through the motions and experiencing life as they usually do, they could be experiencing something for the first time.
This is not to say that suffering is a ‘good’ thing and that people need to suffer in order to appreciate something. Yet for some people, suffering has been a big part of their life and this is not through choice or because they are being a ‘victim’.
To be in this position can make one feel hopeless and helpless, but one thing that their suffering can lead to is a greater appreciation of life. What matters is that one reaches out for the support they need and that they don’t allow themselves to suffer in silence.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.